Good carbohydrates are an important source of energy and healthy fiber. They offer a number of health benefits such as improved digestive health and lower risk for diabetes and obesity. Carbohydrates can be divided into three types – sugar, starch, and fiber, with sugar being the simplest form. Bad carbohydrates are simple carbs that give a short burst of energy. Bad carbs lead to mood swings, frequent irritation, weight gain, and chronic conditions. Foods such as powdered sugar, bagels, French fries, and potato chips contain unwanted carbohydrates. There are many foods with good carbohydrates, including pineapples, pears, apricots, whole grains, and brown rice. Good or complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and help dieters to lose weight.
Dieters should also choose foods with a low glycemic index value. Such foods are low-fat yogurt, red lentils, wholemeal spaghetti, and butter beans. Foods with GI of 70 or higher are considered high GI foods. The list of products to avoid includes white bread, jelly beans, rice krispies, and mashed potatoes. People who eat high GI foods have more body fat which increases the risk for diabetes, heart problems, and overweight. Alcohol contains sugar and empty calories despite the fact that it is low in carb content.
If you are confused about carb count take a look at this informative low carb infographic.